We are neither red states nor blue states but the United States of normal goddamn people who like dogs

Still from “White House Dogs” by Dog Lovers For Joe

Soon we the American people will be able to welcome two very good boys to the White House after four long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long dog-ass years. I’m speaking of course of the Bidens’ German Shepherds, Major and Champ. …


‘This is anxiety, plain and simple — which, if you have anxiety, you know it’s anything but plain and simple’

Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Before you even start with me, let me be very clear that until Marriage Story, the only thing I knew about Adam Driver was that some internet cats looked like him. And Star Wars something something I don’t know. I stopped watching Star Wars back when there was exactly one Star Wars movie and it was called Star Wars. Net net: I am not carrying water for Adam Driver. Fine, I loved Marriage Story and I will argue with you about that at another time.

But to the task at hand: I watched the Fresh Air, “Adam Driver storms out…”…


The good. The bad. The Ariana Grande perfume. Everything you didn’t know you needed for a sane drive with teens.

Illustration by Bene Rohlmann

When you’re heading out on a road trip with adolescents, don’t forget to bring everything, including a little emotional baggage! Here is a sanity-saving checklist to get you through long drives with teens.

☐ Teenagers

☐ Travel mugs

☐ Travel attitudes, depending on what we’re talking about when we talk about “travel attitudes”

☐ A road map, but for keeping a conversation going with teenagers

☐ A road map, but for navigating out of the “stop looking at me like that”/ “like what” struggle

☐ An actual road map, so you can remind your kids of the roughly 100-year age gap between you

☐ Pretending not to notice how genuinely excited they seem about hitting the road

☐ Absolutely not even once asking, “ARE YOU GUYS EXCITED?!”

☐ Restraining yourself from exclaiming, “THIS IS GOING TO BE SO FUN!”

☐ So many breath mints, so much deodorant

☐ A strict “no punch backs, but also no punching in ­general would be great” rule

☐ The adorable belief that any rules, strict or not, will be followed

☐ A playlist for everyone to sing along to

☐ A playlist that, turns out, you will be singing very much alone to

☐ A playlist that evokes ennui

☐ An air freshener printed with the words THE ENNUI CAME FACTORY-INSTALLED

☐ iPads, phones, headphones, earbuds, isn’t it great being together like this?

☐ Back to that whole “travel attitude” thing — the somehow unshakable belief that this trip will end up being the rare case where you actually make memories for real

☐ A solemn vow not to be overcome with emotion when your teenage son, who is now taller than you are, casually slings his arm around your shoulders as you gaze out at the Grand Canyon together

☐ An even more solemn vow to not ask your teenage daughter if she meant to wear her hair like that on purpose

☐ The double-dog most solemn vow that on this trip, you will not play the revenge card you’ve threatened them with all through middle school by shouting in the middle of the biggest crowd you can find, “YOU WILL ­ALWAYS BE MY BABIES! AND STOP TELLING ME I’M YOUR HERO!”

☐ A list of conversation starters no teenager would ever fall for

☐ An alternate list of ­conversation starters even your partner is questioning a little

☐ An alternate to the alternate list that is mostly just ideas for monologues

☐ A curling iron, a flat iron, ­Ariana Grande Cloud perfume, Ariana Grande Moonlight perfume, Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy perfume, blue mascara, 25 sheet masks, glitter nail polish, glitter lip gloss, glitter, look into whether towing your bathroom behind you is feasible

☐ Phone chargers, laptop chargers, car chargers, a charger for the chargers, look into whether towing a Best Buy behind you is feasible

☐ A shopping list detailing how much food you’ll need to bring and continuously replenish in order to sufficiently feed teenagers, look into whether just driving a food truck instead is feasible

☐ Swimsuits, beach chairs, the smug knowledge your kids will definitely not be trying to eat fistfuls of sand and are able to 100 percent sunscreen themselves

☐ Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, tweezers, Swiss army knife, rubbing alcohol, the illusion that at any point you could stop and perform surgery in your car

☐ A tendency to really lean into the illusion that you can perform surgery in your car, thereby giving you an attitudinal edge in arguments

☐ Think about it, does anyone want to argue with the one person who is potentially capable of performing surgery in a moving vehicle with just the minimal supplies on hand?

☐ Everyone needs that person

☐ You are that person now

☐ This really is going to be a great trip

☐ The realization that, just like when they were little and you thought you needed to pack 1,276 items every time you traveled, all you ever really needed was all of you, together

☐ And deodorant — so much deodorant


Parenting humor sites don’t die, they just abandon you for their friends

Dear people,

We all knew this time would come and come it has. We have decided to bring RAZED’s Terrorizing and Highly Inconsistent Reign of Terror™ to a close. But first! Here is our valentine to you:

THE FINAL ISSUE: FAREWELL, F*CKERS!


We’re apparently reliable enough to raise the next generation, but not to articulate our own experiences

Jodi Kantor, The New York Times reporter who, along with Megan Twohey, broke the Harvey Weinstein story, spoke here in Vermont back in February. Of all the ground she covered, one anecdote in particular snagged my attention. She remarked that doing something as simple as watching an old movie with her eldest daughter now meant having to constantly press pause in order to provide context for what was unfolding, and why it was problematic.

Would that have happened 10 years ago? Or even two?

These are our homes, our marriages; this is our mothering now. Mothers and wives are at…


Original illustration for RAZED by Scott Lenhardt

Baa baa black sheep,
Have you any wool?
No sir, no sir,
The millionaires and billionaires have it, sorry.

Jack and Jill
Went up Capitol Hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down
And broke his crown
But all anyone could talk about
Was how Jill should smile more.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t stop all of the blood coming out of his wherever.

A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth…


Panera!

In this final installment of my three-part interview with Chris Monks, he plays favorites and that includes, of course, a list.

Kimberly Harrington: I know you said you’re not writing short humor pieces anymore, but are there pieces on the site that you feel jealous of, that you wish you had written?

Chris Monks: Oh yeah. Pretty much everything Seth Reiss submits I wish I had written.

One of the funniest things we’ve ever run is this piece of his that’s a parody of lead-ins to the 11 o’clock news. The whole joke is that the regular anchors aren’t there…


This is what happens when you try to take a selfie that incorporates the Panera sign except guess what you’re not nearly as tall as Chris so you end up not in the shot at all but—hey, good news—I probably made it on to the security footage.

Chris Monks has been editing McSweeney’s Internet Tendency for eight years and McSweeney’s has 250,000 followers on Twitter. I’ve been editing the parenting humor site RAZED for five months and we have, like, 63 followers. So, as you can see, we practically have the same job and experience.*

*We do not.

In Part 2 of my three-part interview, we delve deeper into the world of submissions from the editor’s point of view plus a heads up on what you never ever need to submit to McSweeney’s again.

Kimberly Harrington: When you’re going through submissions, do you have a sense when…


Disappointed in myself for asking the editor of McSweeney’s for a selfie. But obviously not disappointed enough to not do it.

In the past year or so I’ve had three great meetings related to writing. One was at Chateau Marmont. Two have been at Panera. The main differences: 1) No one at Panera comments on how weird it is that you’re eating bread, 2) No one is waiting in line to see the valet pull up with your shitty rental car at Panera, and 3) You could be sharing bagels with twenty New York Times best-selling authors and your fellow Panera diners would just assume that all y’alls are the neighborhood book club. Thank you, Panera, for just being you.

And…


Sometimes it can be scary and confusing for kids when they’re faced with an unknown, like a politician who actually represents the regular people who voted for him. As you tuck them into bed don’t be surprised if you hear questions like, “But what about the billionaires? Who’s going to speak for them?” or “Why is he so angry all the time?” or “Mom, why did you hit him?” We’ll get to that last one in a minute.

I find that the best way to address kids’ valid concerns about politicians is to ease them into it. The last time…

Kimberly Harrington

AMATEUR HOUR (2018) and BUT YOU SEEMED SO HAPPY (2021) | The New York Times, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Cut | kimberlyharrington.me

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